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County Hall Tax Hike Defies Mood Music

Members of Fingal County Council voted on Monday night to increase the local property tax rate while South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council voted to maintain the reductions.

Fingal council previously had a 10 per cent reduction in the tax but councillors this year voted for a 7.5 per cent reduction for the next two years in order to “protect services”. This increase comes at a time when many households are in the foothills of austerity and eyeing the coming months with considerable concern.

However, Oliver Hunt, head of finance at Fingal council, said the change in tax rate would be “very, very marginal”, amounting to about 15 cent extra per week for the most common house type.

AnnMarie Farrelly, chief executive of the council, said the rate change would yield an additional €2.2 million and would “help make sure our standards are kept as high as they are now”.

There is no doubt that Fingal has and continues to do a lot of excellent work in the area that adds to the locality. But this increase, regardless of its amount, is not in keeping with the general mood music and efforts by central government to ease people’s concerns in light of the impending crisis for family finances.

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